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Monday, August 24, 2015

To Make Someone Love You


Many people I have met who have gotten divorced, describe it as a failed marriage and struggle with the idea that they are the ones who failed.  I am the first to grant that it is a real possibility that far too many divorces occur because of individuals who don’t try hard enough to work things out.  Although, there is a caveat to that statement, because sometimes it is that only one partner is willing to do the work of making the changes needed for a good marriage, the other either doesn’t care or has decided the their spouse is the only one with problems. 

I also would grant that one spouse sincerely praying and seeking God can often be the instrument of God’s change in the other spouse that brings healing and hope to a marriage.  But I would ask you, the reader, to also grant that sometimes that other spouse simply has no interest in making the marriage work or making in changes in themselves, even to the point of walking out.  In such cases, for a marriage to be God honoring, that disinterested spouse has to have a heart change for anything of substance to begin. 

This whole scenario reminds me of the time Jesus was approaching Jerusalem, and in tears weeping when he saw it, stating that so often he had wanted to draw the residents to himself, but they had refused.  

If Jesus himself could not “make” somebody love him who didn’t want to, why do we think that we should have been able to do so with a spouse whose heart has left the marriage?  

God can soften hearts, but it seems he also allows us to refuse to listen, and some choose exactly that.  If you sincerely tried, and put forth the effort to attempt to save your marriage or to help it become what a marriage should be, but it still failed, perhaps you need to grant yourself some grace.  On the other hand, if you are considering divorce, and haven’t really tried to change, or tried to talk it out, or spent time in counseling with your pastor or counselor…then maybe you are walking too early.

I find that the individuals who best handle the tragedy of divorce are those who can look back and confidently state that they really tried:  they gave it years of effort, they pursued counseling, they accepted that it wasn’t going to be perfect, they prayed, and they gave time and opportunity for God to work.  If, after having done those things in such a way that the conscience is clear with God, then when the gavel falls, one can walk away knowing that they gave it their best shot.  And the truth is, our best shot is all we can do in a lot of areas in life, because none of us are perfect, the fallen world in which we live has infected us all.

Did you honestly try?  Were the reasons you separated substantial and not trivial matters?  Did you spend time looking in the mirror, and work on areas God showed you there?  Solid answers to those questions lead to a more peaceful heart post divorce.  At least, it has for me.

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